Pussy-willows, Skunk-tails

A lot has been in the air this week  – about spring smells and summer sounds.  Tonight was the first night I heard my beloved peepers down in the valley’s marshes.  The birds are tweeting at dawn and at dusk.  And some more exciting warblings will be emanating from Blue Belldon tomorrow. (keep reading…)

Mom/Joy teaches piano to Zeb, our neighbour down the road. Every Thursday he comes for lessons, and last week he brought Mom a handful of pussywillows, wrapped with a bow.  They are such a heavenly reminder of spring!

pussywillows

When I was a young teen I was the piano accompanist (along with my cousin Joan) for a children’s choir called Rainbow Chorus.  One of the most beautiful songs ever written about spring, in my opinion, was sung every year by that choir of angelic young voices. And it’s that much better because of it being written by our own Canadian, Gordon Lightfoot:

Pussywillows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses
Rainbows in the woodland, water to my knees
Shivering, quivering, the warm breath of spring
Pussywillows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses

Catbirds and cornfields, daydreams together
Riding on the roadside the dust gets in your eyes
Reveling, disheveling, the summer nights can bring
Pussywillows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses

Slanted rays and colored days, stark blue horizons
Naked limbs and wheat bins, hazy afternoons
Voicing, rejoicing, the wine cups do bring
Pussywillows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses

Harsh nights and candlelights, woodfires a-blazin’
Soft lips and fingertips resting in my soul
Treasuring, remembering, the promise of spring
Pussywillows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses

And Canadian pop and folk songs have been very much on my mind this week, as I’ve been writing a medley of them to be sung in 3-part harmony by a new choir, the New Denmark Minstrels, led by yours truly (’cause no one else will do it).  We’re really just doing this for 150 Voices for the 150th Birthday on July 1st in near-by Perth/Andover., and then small ensemble choirs will break off and sing THEIR contributions:
We’ll be wearing red and white and singing all-Canadian content (both for Canada’s flag colours, and New Denmark’s!)  and I’m especially pleased that 14 have agreed to come out to rehearse and prepare to perform as the Minstrels. We’ve got bits of Johnny Cowell (Mom’s favourite as he’s from our home-town), Hagood Hardy, Joni Mitchell, Dan Hill, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Gene MacLellan (Anne Murray’s song-writer). So that, as well as now two-nights-a week rehearsing for the New Denmark Queen’s pageant is keeping me further from homesteading and moving on with self-sufficiency than I’d like to be… But, if you thrive on creative outlets, you grab ’em when you sees ’em!
Here’s the latest pageant collage, done by official photographer, Tiffany Christensen:
pageant1
So Canadian music and hill-billy music are filling my days.  (It’s worth mentioning again, here, that while I was NOT named for this hill-billy song, I think I was fated to become an Appalachian gal from the start.  The spelling is even exact on all 3 words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFMI9ApJNU0 )
 It’s filling my days so much that, on top of the seed-tending in basement, the bread-and-muffin baking, the 3:00 a.m. run to Fredericton (2 hours one way) to take Mom/Joy to the airport (gone to Nfld. again) and the visiting of lumber mills in all 3 neighbouring towns, to find the best deal on what we need to build a paddock and run-in shelter/stall for the horse we’re getting in a few weeks (more on all this before mid-May), I’m actually falling asleep writing this.
 So pussy-willows stand for all the positive things that happen in spring.  And so would cat-tails, if we’d seen them lately.  We haven’t seen MUCH in the way of cat-tails, BUT skunk-tails, I’m afraid, are plentiful. Mom and Pop are sleeping under our porch steps, and I imagine the arrival of babies to be anytime now. Richard bought a live skunk trap, and they can’t lift their tails in it, so no spraying.  When caught they’ll be taken down Lucy’s Gulch and let loose. And preferably BEFORE Smitty ‘gets wind’ of them – he was sprayed by them 4 times last year, and I still don’t think he learned!

Lastly, the thing Richard enjoys most about the snows melting is that he can start planning for more future self-sufficient living again.  Should he get a windmill, or build a mill in Rasmussen Brook? Or perhaps a water tower for storage? What about another bank of solar?  When we were in Fredericton on Monday to get Mom to fly out, Richard studied up on some options at the truck stop “The Blue Canoe”.

Then, because we haven’t done a single touristy thing since moving to this province (for me, nearly a year ago!) we just played at silly sight-seers for a bit:

And then, whaddya know?  In true Rustic Revivals’ style, we found a sculpture of Gordon Lightfoot’s rusty goose on the ‘soft winds’  – – – AND   his cat-tails!!

 

 

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